Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pygmalion” as Want to Read:
Pygmalion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Book* *Different edition

Pygmalion

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  62,840 ratings  ·  1,236 reviews
Shaw wrote the part of Eliza Doolittle - an east-end dona with an apron and three orange and red ostrich feathers - for Mrs Patrick Campbell, with whom he had a passionate but unconsummated affair. From the outset the play was a sensational success, although Shaw, irritated by its popularity at the expense of his artistic intentions, dismissed it as a potboiler. The Pygmal ...more
Mass Market Paperback
Published by Washington Square Press (first published 1912)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nataliya


"Eliza has no use for the foolish romantic tradition that all women love to be mastered, if not actually bullied and beaten," says G.B.Shaw in the afterword to his famous play.
By the way, I think this quote should be memorized and repeated on the daily basis by the contemporary authors, especially in the YA genre, who attempt to create female characters. Really. Maybe I can start a campaign encouraging authors' awareness of this quote. Hmmmm...
This was one of the first plays I've ever read, and
...more
Dave Hill
This is fun to read out loud in crazy English accents while stomping around your apartment. The neighbors might not like it but screw 'em.
Manny
If you happen to be the Wayans Brothers and are stuck for ideas about where your next racist, sexist, gratuituously offensive comedy is going to come from, have you considered doing a gender- and color-reversed version of Pygmalion? I feel it has real potential. My first thought is to reunite Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher from Guess Who. Mac, in drag, plays Henrietta, a black linguist who bets her friend Picky (Oprah) that she can turn preppy white-boy Kutcher into a bro' within six weeks. Here' ...more
Jonathan
Dec 31, 2012 Jonathan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonathan by: The musical - My Fair Lady - sort of

This is the last book I will finish in 2012 as there are only 6 hours remaining in my day. It is certainly a fitting book (or rather play inside a book) to end the year on. For Pygmalion is a story about new beginnings and about transformation. What better book to symbolise the changing of the year, I say!

The classic musical My Fair Lady is perhaps my favourite musical film that I have seen. The acting is superb, the plotting excellent and all the music serves to add to the humorous feel of the
...more
Bruce
One of George Bernard Shaw’s most beloved plays, Pygmalion is the work on which the subsequent musical comedy, My Fair Lady, is based. But the two works have important differences. Shaw’s work is far less sentimental and is throughout more ambiguous, especially in its ending. Furthermore, in order that it might be readable, the accents of the various characters are not attempted in the text, except at the very beginning (primarily to show that it would be unreadable if attempted). Those readers ...more
Yani
Una lectura que no tenía planeada en estos días. Por suerte, el desvío de los planes salió genial. Pigmalión es una obra de teatro distinta, que hace foco en un tema que no se aborda en estos días y que se lee rapidísimo porque divierte. Así de sencillo.

Cuento un poco el argumento, aunque ya muchos deben conocerlo por las versiones cinematográficas: un especialista en fonética (Henry Higgins) se encuentra casualmente con una vendedora de flores (Eliza Doolittle) cuya boca es, sin más ni menos
...more
Sera
Apr 05, 2008 Sera rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sera by: RGBC
Shelves: classics, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa N
“My Fair Lady” is one of my very favorite musicals. I have avoided reading anything by GBS because I don’t care for his political views and because he was critical of Shakespeare. I actually enjoyed reading this play. It was very close to the “My Fair Lady” script, probably because Shaw also wrote the screenplay. (He was the first person to win both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award.) The ending of “My Fair Lady” has always been a little unsettling for me. The mythical Pygmalion was a sculptor ...more
Is Mini
I really don't know why Pygmalion is still called a romance. I mean, Shaw himself was very dissapointed at the fact that his socialistic drama became a success as a romance. Shaw wanted to liberate his play from the traditional conventions of a romance, that's why he reversed the romantic story by giving a different end, marking Eliza's emancipation and independence. If this was a typical love story, the two protagonists would have been married at the end. But Shaw implies that Mr. Higgings wil ...more
Katsumi
George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion is a story based on two completely different people and their primary wants. Eliza Doolittle is a flower girl, who has always wanted to be accepted in society and be loved. Henry Higgins is a linguistics professor, who has no respect for women and his main goal is to prove his knowledge to others and make them aware of his existence. Henry Higgins takes Eliza off the streets in order to give her what it is she wants; teaching her the English language and ways ...more
Anupama Ma
It is difficult to read a play without doing the voices. Having watched My Fair Lady, I think I did a great Eliza in my head. But other than the bad grammar, the Garns and the Aaa woo oo oh sound, there wasn't much of an accent. No Rain in Spain or Just you wait 'Enry 'Iggins. Still, it was a delightful read. Henry Higgins' unapologetic rudeness was shocking and totally unacceptable, but it was so much fun. I was supposed to get angry at the way he treated the poor girl, calling her names, talki ...more
Azra Šabovic
This is absolutely one of my favorite plays.
In the Pygmalion, Shaw uses symbols of slippers with the shifts in characterization to show how Eliza grows from being in different class than Higgins to being in the same class as him.
In the beginning of the play, Higgins finds Eliza on street treating her like dirt. She comes to him for phonetic lessons, in order to become a middle class women. Throughout the play, Higgins is always asking his maid and Eliza to bring him his slippers, where it indica
...more
David Sarkies
Apr 04, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English Teachers
Recommended to David by: Indirectly my English Teacher
Shelves: modernist
Shaw's Masterpiece
16 April 2010

Pygmalion, in my opinion, is Shaw's piece de resistance (if that is how you spell it). It is a masterpiece. While I can simply leave it at that I am compelled to say a lot more about this play, but first, the plot.
Two English gentlemen (and when I read this book I wondered if it was implied that they were homosexual) bet as to whether they can take a street urchin and turn her into a lady by teaching her how to speak proper English. They do and the experiment is
...more
Samyogita
'Read it!!!' is all I can say.
You may think that you know what it's about because you've seen My Fair Lady or read an adaptation or just heard the story somehow, but trust me, you don't.
This is a timeless piece of writing and all other adaptations and interpretations - charming as they may be - fade in comparison because Pygmalion is about bigger things.

I did, sort of, keep picturing Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison as Eliza and Higgins throughout because I adore My Fair Lady (except for the end
...more
Mandy
Pygmalion is a story that’s been adapted time and time again in various forms. Of course we have My Fair Lady, both the stage and screen versions. There’s Pretty Woman and She’s All That and a few other obscure film and television installments. I’ve always loved Pretty Woman and My Fair Lady is such a classic that when I saw the original play at a local used book sale, I knew I had to have it. This story has some sentimental meaning to me as well: my best friend played Henry Higgins in our high ...more
Mariam Abood
I'm first going to start off by saying I think the title is very misleading, because this play is not a romance. In fact, George Bernard Shaw was so irritated by interpreting Eliza and Higgins' relationship as a romantic relationship, that he added an appendix at the end of the play, explaining what happened to Eliza after she left Higgins, and lived a happy life without him. And do you know what, I have massive admiration for Shaw doing this, because I think the thought of Eliza having an affai ...more
Anirudh
Having never read a play before except as a part of a curriculum and having heard so much about Shaw, I ordered this book with great expectations. I was not disappointed.

Despite being only a bit shy of a hundred pages this play is wonderfully written. The plot itself intrigued me very much. To turn a flower girl from the street to a duchess by changing the way she speaks and dresses. I wonder if Shaw was trying to tell us that social status is not achieved by who you really are but by how you d
...more
Ekaterina
That is a beautifully written play. I have watched this play recently in the theater, and I thought it was magnificent. Eliza was simply adorable and Henry Higgins made me laugh so hard. I will not spoil the book by blabbering about its content and the flow of events, but I just wanted to comment and give my opinion about the ending. I love endings like the one in this story. It is like the author is giving you the chance to create your own ending, thus letting you develop your imagination. I us ...more
Dawayr
Jan 09, 2013 Dawayr marked it as كتاب_مفتوح  ·  review of another edition

تعتبر من أشهر مسرحيات جورج برنارد شو و تعتبر أيضا السبب الأساسى فى أنه الوحيد الحاصل على جائزة نوبل فى الأدب و أوسكار فى نفس الوقت . تدور أحداث القصة فى بريطانيا حيث يعيش أحد أشهر أساتذة الفونتيكس فى العالم ، الأستاذ هنرى هيجينز . و تبدأ أحداث القصة بوقوفه صامتا وسط مجموعة من الناس فى محاولة أن بدون ملاحظات عن طريقة نطقهم للكلام حينما تأاى اليزا بائعة الورود فى محاولة منها أ تبيع له و للواقفين بعض الورود . و كان ضمن الواقفين الكولونيل بيكرنح أستاذ الفونتيكس الذى أتى من الهند الى بريطانيا فقط ليق
...more
Forough
امروز غروب تمامش کردم،تنها افسوس خوردم که کاش اول نمایشنامه را خوانده بودم و بعد فیلم "بانوی زیبای من "را دیده بودم.
Susan
I loved reading the original version of this story, which I had previously only known in the form of the popular movie starring Audrey Hepburn.
The film is wonderful, but the book was, for me, even better.....the brilliant characters invented by George Bernard Shaw were captivating, and somehow more human, and the story, while being clever and witty is also a very perceptive look at the attitudes of the different social classes of the time towards each other.
My only complaint is that it wasn't lo
...more
Versha
Pygmalion was satirical and a quick read could not put it down once I started. I must say I despise Mr. Henry Higgins‘s character, he was the most unkind, unemotional, disgusting man who thinks women as his puppet! Eliza served him right choosing Freddy as her life partner and being indifferent towards Henry in the end. But her secret desire of getting him alone in a desert made me laugh so much! I am so curios to watch the movie now!
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is a book I have desired to read for a very lang time. I was very happy when I finally got the opportunity to read it.

The play mainly focuses on two characters, Higgins and Liz. Liz is a flower girl who meets Higgins in the streets. Higgins is a scholar who is determined to transform Liz into a lady who is well mannered and who knows how to relate with people according to the accepted standards.

The novel shows the conflict between the two characters, both in st
...more
Leslie
Here is the plot as explained by Henry Higgins, who is such a satisfying and hilarious brute.

"There! Thats all you get out of Eliza. Ah-ah-ow-oo! No use explaining. As a military man you ought to know that. Give her her orders: thats what she wants. Eliza: you are to live here for the next six months, learning how to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist's shop. If you're good and do whatever you're told, you shall sleep in a proper bedroom, and have lots to eat, and money to buy chocolat
...more
Frances
I'll summarize the plot by saying that this is the play upon which "My Fair Lady" was based. It's funny, although Henry Higgins comes off as quite a jerk. You can also read this subtext into it: Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering are a gay couple who have just moved in together and they keep Eliza around so that the public's suspicions will be piqued by the idea that Higgins is taking advantage of a poor young woman and ignore the fact that he has a male live-in lover. If there is any love stor ...more
The Goon
A professor of phonetics named Henry Higgins is so confident of his abilities to teach proper English, that he offers to turn a "draggle-tailed guttersnipe" into a duchess.

What I mean is, he makes a bet that he can train a flower selling, low class, dirty street urchin by the name of Eliza Doolittle to speak so well that she can be passed off as a duchess.

Because I’m an American, I feel as though this story is not at all outlandish. I was raised to believe that anyone can receive an education
...more
Moataz Muhammad
مافيش شك إن برنارد شو كتب مسرحية بتخليك مشدود ليها أثناء القرائة حتي وانت كاره الأسلوب الإنجليزي المحفلط في الكلام.
القصة مش معجزة ولا حاجة، لكن برنارد شو عرف يعمل من شيء - قد يبان في زماننا ومجتمعنا شيء تافه جدا - مسرحية قوية.
أفتكر إني شفت فيلم قديم قبل كدة - أو جزء منه - لفؤاد المهندس وشويكار وتناول نفس القصة بتصرف وكنت مش فاهم أو علي الأقل مش عارف إيه السبب لكل اللي بيحصل. لكن بعد ما قرأت بجماليون عرفت أخيرا السبب.
في زمن الإنجليز المحفلطين اللي الطبقة العليا من المجتمع عايشة في الحفلات والسهرا
...more
Eduard
“If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.”




I thought the ending was fantastic. Nevertheless, people in all directions have assumed, for no other reason than that she became the heroine of a romance, that she must have married the hero of it. You go, Eliza!


There is only one rendition of Pygmalion that does Bernard Show justice. And that's Anthony Asquith's movie.
Fayrouuzz
Now, I can finally say that I have actually liked something I have been assigned for school.
I'm not a big fan of reading plays, myself. But I have quite enjoyed that. It was highly entertaining and I have particularly been enjoying the last 15-20 pages. I enjoyed every single line of them and that made me decide on an extra star on Goodreads.
Poornima
This is a lovely play. For anyone who has watched "My Fair Lady" and reading this book, it would be impossible not picturize Aurdrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison throughout! The movie is a great adaptation of the book. I missed couple of things in the book - the musicals (but obviously!) and details on Eliza's teaching seasions (there is a great scene with the bunsen burner in the movie!). Where the book scored slightly over the movie is with the ending.. this seemed more realistic and nicely portra ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Ocelot Clubhouse: Pygmalion 1 3 Jun 30, 2015 05:54PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Pygmalion 2 13 Apr 19, 2015 07:27PM  
Should I read Pygmalion or Faust? 37 212 Mar 12, 2015 05:31AM  
  • A Woman of No Importance
  • The Misanthrope
  • The Night of the Iguana (Acting Edition)
  • She Stoops to Conquer
  • Mourning Becomes Electra
  • The Complete Plays
  • The Playboy of the Western World
  • Amadeus
  • Five Plays: Ivanov / The Seagull / Uncle Vanya / The Three Sisters / The Cherry Orchard
  • King Henry VI, Part 3
  • Murder in the Cathedral
  • An Enemy of the People
  • Look Back in Anger
  • Rescuing Patty Hearst: Growing Up Sane in a Decade Gone Mad
  • The Odd Couple
  • The Homecoming
  • Phèdre
  • Private Lives
5217
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but ...more
More about George Bernard Shaw...
Pygmalion and Three Other Plays Pygmalion & My Fair Lady Arms and the Man Saint Joan Major Barbara

Share This Book

25 trivia questions
2 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“What you are to do without me I cannot imagine.” 176 likes
“If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.” 78 likes
More quotes…